This idea can be expanded to support creating custom "album sets".
This would also be useful handling box sets in addition to multiple releases of the same album.
Currently if you want to create a box set with MB, you have to tag them as if it's a multi-disc album. But it's not always the same and has many limitations. Many box sets (e.g. Singles Collection) use different album cover for each disc and different release year for each disc with its own (box set) release year, but currently MB can't handle them properly.
I would suggest the following functionality:
- The user selects multiple albums in the main panel (from all views except tracks view)> right click> select "create an album set with selected albums" command
- Then you get an configuration dialog for the set where you can type a value (then they will be saved in MB database only) or a formula using existing tags for each field: Album Set Name, Album Set Artist, Album Set Genre, Album Set Release Year, Album Set Artwork
- You can collapse or expand each set in the main panel. When collapsed it's displayed as a single album with its own tag values (but with a set indicator like + sign) and when expanded whole albums inside it get displayed under it.
I put a lot of thought into how these situations could be handled by loosening restrictions on how tracks are grouped into albums and completely reworking sub-grouping in the expanded panel, but then I thought that redwing's solution is so much simpler and would work for multiple releases, box sets, and series if you add just one detail:
Display all of the expanded panels for the albums in each album group, each below the previous one. The expanded panel settings dialog could be expanded to include settings for how the individual albums in each album group should be sorted, and that could just be a few drop-down selections to select tag fields to sort by. Default sorting could be done by date which would work for multiple releases of the same album, box sets that contain multiple albums, and series in which annual volumes are released.
Since this type of album grouping would only work inside MB anyway, there is no need to store anything in the metadata. It could all be stored in the library file. It wouldn't matter if users tagged using MusicBrainz, Discogs, or if they don't even edit tags at all after they download their purchases.
Here is how it would look:
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